Family Tradition from the Heart: Valentine's Day Fondue
A few years ago Michelle and Bill Morton realized that going out for a Valentine's Day dinner wasn't as much fun as it used to be. It was hard to feel romantic while worrying about the impact a fancy meal, not to mention hiring a babysitter for their three sons, would have on the household budget. So the Raleigh, North Carolina, couple (she's a professional organizer; he's a government IT director) decided to make Valentine's Day a family occasion.
These days, instead of stepping out on February 14, Michelle and Bill step into their kitchen and cook up a family favorite: fondue. The boys help with the prep work and when all the ingredients are assembled, the five of them gather around a communal pot, dipping tortellini, bread, and veggies into a savory cheese sauce while they talk and laugh. In between the main course and dessert (chocolate fondue, with fruit, pound cake, and marshmallows for dunking), the kids exchange heart-shaped messages. "Each boy has to write what he likes best about his brothers," Michelle says. "We try to focus on the reason for the holiday, which is love."